Super Bowl Ad-orama
So, another year of football is over, and as is always the case, many viewers take more of an interest in the sponsored ads than they do in the game. This year I thought I would throw out a few thoughts on what stood out to me…
My #1 award goes to the Avocados From Mexico spot. Not content to make another commercial featuring produce and food, the growers this year decided to invest in make-up, sets, and a high-concept premise featuring aliens in the future. I thought this spot was well done, memorable, and certainly caught the viewer off guard. The addition of Scott Baio seemed forced at first, but the “tour guide’s” nonchalant commentary about feeding Scott being included in the price of the tour was a great capper. See the extended version here:
My #2 award goes to Mountain Dew for Puppy Monkey Baby. At first, this spot irritated me because right away, it seemed like another attempt by poor writers to mine for humor through the simple act of combining three random, crazy things and hoping it was so “crazy” that it would be a hit. This is kind of the way I feel about the TV show “Family Guy.” As rival animated show “South Park” once mocked “Family Guy,” it always seems like the Family Guy writers pick three random things and combine them into humor that’s not based in anything other than the ridiculousness of the idea and an association with something well known; for instance, “that’s like the time I was playing dominoes with Adam West at the national transvestite convention.” There’s noting funny about that, it’s just ludicrous. However, Puppy Monkey Baby, even though it came out like a stupid, easy choice, it actually was so relentless in its attack with the rhythmic repetition of “puppy monkey baby” that it couldn’t help but draw me in. It never treated Puppy Monkey Baby as something precious, it simply repeated the phrase and entranced the kids in the spot. It got me too. And then it revealed, the entire theme of the spot…”we combined three things and it’s awesome.” Kudos to them on being better than the Family Guy at their own game. Check it out here…
There were some other good and memorable spots:
I thought PayPal had a great spot with it’s “New Money” concept, but to be honest, I thought the spot was going to be for a bank or for American Express. Once it was revealed to be Paypal, I actually thought that the spot was much better than the old school “Paypal” name and brand.
Apartments.com missed the mark with Jeff Goldblum singing the theme from the Jeffersons, and then it was further diminished by stuntcasting Li’l Wayne. Nothing about Li’l Wayne makes me think of apartment hunting.
I was disappointed that Marvel licensed the Avenger characters Hulk and Ant Man for a Coke commercial. Marvel is a Hollywood powerhouse right now and cranking out great (or at least somewhat entertaining) films. I think using these two characters cheapens the overall Avengers brand, breaks the willing suspension of disbelief, and makes the characters nothing more than animated shills.
There was one commercial where a guy tries to kiss a marmot. While the spot wasn’t great to begin with, inevitable spots like this garner many letters of protest from people who are offended by the suggestion of bestiality. I don’t even know what this spot was for.
I also thought the Pokemon commercial was great, “I can do that.” But, in the end, who cares about Pokemon (apparently millions). This spot also fooled me, I thought it would be for Nike, or Gatorade, or UnderArmor, but it was Pokemon…freakin’ Pokemon. I wish I had invented that.